Chang'an is in north central China.
simplified Chinese: 长安;
traditional Chinese: 長安) was an ancient
capital of more than ten
Chinese history, today known as
Xi'an. Chang'an means "
Perpetual Peace" in
Classical Chinese since it was a capital that was repeatedly used by new Chinese rulers. During the short-lived
Xin dynasty, the city was renamed "Constant Peace" (
pinyin: Cháng'ān); yet after its fall in AD 23, the old name was restored. By the time of the
Ming dynasty, the name was again changed to Xi'an, meaning "Western Peace", which has remained its name to the present day.
Chang'an had been settled since
Neolithic times, during which the
Yangshao Culture was established in
Banpo in the city's suburb. Also in the northern vicinity of the modern Xi'an, the
Qin Shi Huang of the
Qin dynasty held his imperial court, and constructed his massive mausoleum guarded by the famed
From its capital at
Xianyang, the Qin dynasty ruled a larger area than either of the preceding dynasties. The imperial city of Chang'an during the
Han dynasty was located northwest of today's Xi'an. During the
Tang dynasty, the area to be known as Chang'an included the area inside the Ming Xi'an fortification, plus some small areas to its east and west, and a major part of its southern suburbs. The Tang Chang'an hence, was 8 times the size of the Ming Xi'an, which was reconstructed upon the premise of the former imperial quarter of the
Sui and Tang city. During its heyday, Chang'an was one of the largest and most populous
cities in the world. Around AD 750, Chang'an was called a "million people's city" in Chinese records, while modern estimates put it at around 800,000–1,000,000 within city walls.
 According to the census in 742 recorded in the
New Book of Tang, 362,921 families with 1,960,188 persons were counted in
Jingzhao Fu (京兆府), the
metropolitan area including small cities in the vicinity.